Category Archives: CPA CFE 2019/2020

CPA Canada Common Final Exam

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How to pass CPA CFE 2019 Day 2 & 3 Final Exam ?

How to pass CPA CFE 2019 Day 2 & 3 Final Exam

Many students are unable to pass CPA CFE Day 2 & 3 Final Exam. Students should review all related technical concepts for all six subject competencies. Care should be taken for selected core roll as you will face about 8 issues in Day 2. Normally students found shortage of time particularly in Day 3. Speed, accuracy and professional approach for writing cases are most essential to get success. I summarize some important points for getting success at the final exam.

From the last two slides, you will notice, expected case of a company for your 2019 exam. You will also observe that there are around 30 issues in day 2 & 3 exam, out of which about 13-15 are in day 2. Roll base has around 8 issues. FR & MA each have 8 issues in total for both the days. Remaining is for breath of competencies. It is expected that you may face case of a private company with Management Accounting issues in Day 2. You can also predict on the basis of analysis furnished.

If anyone need any special guidance and or coaching can contact me on my web site or

  1. Day 2 – Comprehensive Case evaluating (5 hours)
  • one case analysis of 5 hour duration (about 50 pages) based on technical competencies related with financial accounting, management accounting, and chosen role
  • Answer should be depth in financial or management accounting and in selected role
  • Grade will be for each issue, a) not address b) Just identify c) reaching competent d) competent e) competent with distinction
  • Day 2 will be graded combine with day 3
  • Avoid skipping any competencies
  1. Day 3 – Small cases (usually three) (4 hours)
  • Three case analysis of total 4 hour duration based on technical and enabling competencies
  • Answer should be depth in financial or management accounting
  • Answer should be integrated with breath of other courses like taxation, audit, strategy and governance
  • Grade will be for each issue, a) not address b) Just identify c) reaching competent d) competent e) competent with distinction
  • Day 3 will be graded combine with day 2
  • Time management and outlining will be important
  • Don’t skip competencies
  1. Marking of Day 2 & 3:
  • To pass day 2 & 3, student should write answer with
  • Sufficient with aggregate all issues….Level 1
  • Depth in MA or FR ……Level 2 ( Competent grade C)
  • Depth of issue in selected role Level 3 (Competent grade C)
  • Breath of issues …..Level 4 ( Reaching Competent RC)
  • Students must reply satisfying all 4 level in all major issues
  • Passing grade /limit will be decided for each exam by CPA Exam Board
  1. How you score

For each assessment opportunity (indicator) you’ll score one of the NA – CD scores.

  • Not Addressed (NA)– You did not identify the issue in the case
  • Nominal Competence (NC)– You identified the issue but only covered it superficially. Not much (if any) value added. No evidence of competence demonstrated
  • Reaching Competence (RC)– You identified the issue and covered it, but it was not sufficiently covered to achieve a C
  • Competent (C)– You discussed the issue in a sufficient level to meet expectations.
  • Competent with Distinction (CD)– Your discussion was above what was required. An exceptional response.
  1. For case analysis, always write with IAAR approach i.e. Identifying, analyzing, with alternatives and effective and well justified recommendations. For audit, IT and Ethics follow WIR approach weakness, implication and recommendation
  2. Start your answer through identifying type of the company whether it is public, private, CCPC, not for profit and or government organization along with applicability of IFRS or CPA handbook section along with effective dates
  3. Marker will be evaluating the quality of your responses (will look to see if you have grasped the key issues in the case, were able to problem solve, analyse, integrate, prioritize, and finally, communicate effectively).
  1. Analysis of last two exam cases


Details 2017 2018 Expected 2019
Day 2 case Private Public Private
Day 3 case
Case 1 Private Private Public
Case 2 Proprietor Private Not for Profit
Case 3 Private Private Private

  1. Analysis of last two exam cases


Total FR MA Roll
Day 2
2017 15 5 2 8
2018 13 5 0 8
Day 3 Total FR MA Fin Audit Tax Strategy
Case 1-2017 7 1 1 1 2 1 1
             2018 7 0 3 0 1 1 2
Case 2-2017 7 0 1 1 1 2 2
           2018 6 0 1 3 1 1 0
Case 3 -2017


5 1 2 1 0 0 1
         2018 5 1 1 0 1 1 1




How to pass CPA CFE 2019 Day 1

I found that many students are finding difficulty in passing CPA CFE day 1 exam. Even in 2018, well qualified CA from India and other countries could not get success in passing day 1 exam. Some have approach me to put one course exclusively for Day 1. I provide below in brief some important hints to pass this exam at first attempt.

Day 1 – Evaluating your soft / professional skills (4 hours)

The first day of the CFE is a Pass/Fail mark treated separately and distinctly from Day 2 or 3. You can pass or fail Day 1 regardless of how you do on Day 2 and Day 3. Similarly, if you fail Day 1, you need to re-do, and successfully complete Day 1 regardless of how you did in Day 2 or 3. Day 1 is linked to the Capstone 1 module with the case being directly tied to your Capstone 1 case. You are provided with the original Capstone 1 case (not your solution) and the updated information on your CFE case. Day 1 tests your soft/professional skills, at a senior management level discussion.  You are not expected to discuss accounting or other technical competencies in any great detail but focus on the ‘enabling competencies’.

Capstone 1 case is mainly focusing enabling competencies. Therefore report will focus enabling competencies in depth and technical up to level 1. Enabling competencies are, problems solving and professional judgement, leadership, ethical, communication and etc. (refer CPA competency map). Capstone one case is mainly related with problem solving issue.

  • Know your Capstone 1 case inside and out ahead of time
  • Broad thinking and integration of case facts
  • Assess the situation and what needs to be done (situation analysis)
  • Analyze the major issues
  • Conclude and provide useful advice (solution)
  • Ensure your communication is clear

Student should focus on big picture, prioritize issues, perform both quantitative and qualitative analysis, use appropriate tools for quantitative analysis, and provide your answer looking into internal and external environment of the company.

Students are required to prepare a report. See the format of report in detail. In situation analysis, provide present environment, assess the situation with tools like, Portal Five forces, PESTAL analysis and SWOT analysis.

In second part analyse various issues, prioritize it, provide financial analysis wherever required, and your recommendation to resolve the issue.

In conclusion, suggest best course of action based on your analysis.

Also ensure that you will watch for the time limit of 4 hours. Do not put more input in situation analysis, major part is main issues significantly affecting the decision, and brief conclusive summary.

Marker will assess your holistic approach to the case; answers may be more than one.

If anyone need any more information and like to go for coaching for Day 1 and or for full exam, please visit my website, cell: 16475056648, email: Beyond Accounting Coaching Services…Paresh Desai CPA-CGA, CMA (USA) FCMA(India)